"Waste Areas" Plants:
Most plants in this category are considered weeds which is just a plant that doesn't grow in rows. After years of mixed results with personal
gardening efforts, I came to appreciate the lowly weed. You don't have to buy the seeds, plant them, water them, tend to them in any way, and still
they won't go away. Survival of the fittest, baby!
AMARANTH: All parts are edible. Can be eaten raw, boiled, ground into flour or popped like corn. Used to make cereals, breads or porridge. Extremely
nutritious. Nutritional information: puentemexico.org...
's-Nutritional-Content/. One of the species is even impervious to
Monsanto's "Roundup" pesticide. Gotta love it for that reason if nothing else. Seeds are very small so you can carry a film canister of them and
have enough to plant a very large area. Their very high yield alone makes them an important crop.
BLACKBERRY/RASPBERRY: Grows in open fields, along fences in temperate zones. Excellent source of antioxidants and dietary fiber. High in vitamins A, C
as well as calcium. Seeds are high in polyunsaturated fat. Berries are edible raw or cooked. It's thorny vines make a natural perimeter defense. It
attracts birds (which are also edible). Makes a tasty wine. The powdered bark is used for toothaches. A tea made from the leaves aids digestion.
BURDOCK: Grows in fields, waste areas, temperate regions. Leafstalks can be eaten raw or cooked as a green vegetable. Roots can be baked or boiled.
Fibers from the stalk can be used for cordage. Very medicinal and nutritious.
CHICKWEED: Grows on lawns,and in partial sun. High in vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. Tasty in salads, teas, pestos. Can be cooked
and eaten as a vegetable.
CHICORY: Grows on roadsides, wastelands, fields. All parts are edible. New leaves can be added to salads or boiled as a side dish. Roots can be cooked
as a vegetable or roasted and ground for use as a coffee substitute. Provides vitamins and minerals.
DANDELIONS: A pervasive "weed" that grows in temperate climates in pastures, meadows, waste grounds and backyards (despite your best efforts to
prevent it). All parts are edible. Leaves are good raw or cooked. Roots can be served like a vegetable or roasted and ground for a coffee substitute.
Flowers can be made into fritters. Dandelions are high in vitamins A, C as well as calcium. Makes a dandy (lion) wine.
I've heard that the
milky fluid in the stem can be used to make a glue but I don't know how to do it.
FOX TAIL GRASS: Grows in open areas and can be dangerous to pets as the seed heads "work" their way into internal organs. The grains can be eaten
raw but are sort of bitter unless boiled. They are high in protein and have a sweet taste (boiled). Used to make cereals, porridge, breads, soups.
Like all grain, it can be fermented to make a Saturday night stupor.
HAZELNUT: (or filberts) Grows in open areas and along streams. Like most nuts, it has a high oil content. Kernels can be eaten raw, roasted or added
to soups or breads.
Nutritional content of hazelnuts: www.calorie-counter.net...
OAK: All parts are edible but you need to leech out the tannin acid to prevent kidney problems. Nuts can be eaten boiled or dried (after boiling) and
made into flour. Tannin acid that you boiled out can be used to tan hides. The pulpy fibers can be used for weaving mats and such. Acorns are rich in
protein, carbohydrates, fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Helps to regulate blood sugar.
PLANTAIN: Grown in more tropical climates but if kept from freezes and high winds can be grown anywhere warm. They are like bananas and can be used in
the same ways. The young leaves can be eaten raw but older leaves should be cooked. Seeds can be eaten raw or roasted.
POKEWEED: Grows in clearings, woodland margins and roadsides. Young leaves and stems can be cooked (twice) and eaten like spinach. Fruits must be
cooked. POISON if raw. The berries are also used to make an ink or dye. The roots have the highest concentration of poison so I don't bother with
them. Don't cook anything else in the same water that was used to boil poke. I have a healthy respect for plants that can kill you and this is one of
them. That said, I've been eating it for years as have many people and am none the worse for wear. Culinary indiscretion is not wise so proper
preparation is essential.
PURSLANE: I like purslane. It's drought resistant, grows in poor soils and all parts are edible raw, boiled, stir fried or fresh in a salad. It can
be used to thicken soups and the seeds can be made into a flour or eaten raw. Purslane is high in vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids and
antioxidants. Pretty impressive for a "weed".
SHEEP SORREL: Grows in lawns, gardens, meadows, grassy slopes. Stems are usually reddish. Can be eaten raw or cooked but cooked is the preferred
method if eating in quantity due to the oxalic acid content which is destroyed by heat. The leaves are used as a flavoring in soup and sauces, as a
salad and as a cooked vegetable.
WILD ONION/GARLIC: Grows in fields, meadows, lawns. The more onion-like (or garlic-like) it smells, the higher the nutritional benefit. Anything that
looks like an onion or a garlic but lacks the smell is NOT an onion or a garlic-it is death in disguise. If you're willing to have onion smell
exuding from your pores, eating large amounts of onion will serve as a natural insect repellent. I think everyone knows the various ways to eat onion
and garlic. Bulbs and leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. Nutritional content of onions can be found at the following site:
WILD ROSE: Grows in open places, fields, meadows. High antioxidant value. flowers and buds can be eaten raw or boiled. Young leaves made into tea.
Rose hips are God's answer to codex alimentarius. They can be made into a meal flour, have 8 times more lycopene than tomatoes, 8 times more calcium
than the same amount of milk, 7 times more vitamin C than orange juice and 2 times as much iron as spinach. Rich in vitamins.
WILD SORREL: Grows in open woodlands, partly sunny areas and grasslands. Edible if cooked. Contains that pesky oxalic acid which is poisonous unless
deactivated with heat. Leaves, flowers and bulbs are edible. Leaves can be used for salads, teas, "lemonade". It's oxalic acid content is
relatively low so it can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Seeds make a nice snack or trail mix addition when roasted. It is high in vitamin C.
Part 3 of edible plants pertains to tropical plants and are included because many types have been introduced to non-tropical environments and shown to
[edit on 5-9-2009 by whitewave]